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FaceApp Once Had A Blackface, Asian And Indian Filter And Everyone Forgot

Back in 2017 the company launched a filter that allowed users to see themselves as a different race, prompting outrage on social media.

No doubt by now you've probably seen FaceApp's age filter that takes a user's photo and significantly ages it - you might have even tried it yourself. But if you think the app is a new phenomenon, think again.

The app first shot to fame two years ago when it gave users the ability to mimic different genders.

Not long after, the company found itself in hot water after it launched racial filters. Anyone could submit a photo and try on filters that made them Asian, black, white or Indian.

The internet reacted quickly, and users were quick to condemn the app.

FaceApp's CEO was quick to pull the race filter only hours after it went live.

“The ethnicity change filters have been designed to be equal in all aspects,” Yaroslav Goncharov, told Mic at the time.

“They don’t have any positive or negative connotations associated with them. They are even represented by the same icon. In addition to that, the list of those filters is shuffled for every photo, so each user sees them in a different order.”

READ MORE: FaceApp Challenge: How Will Some Of Australia's Biggest Names Look In 40 Years?

FaceApp isn't the only social media platform to have pushed the boundaries of racism. Snapchat also faced backlash over a Bob Marley filter it introduced in  2016.

The filter remained on the app, with many noting it was released in April 20 - or 4/20 as it reads in American date format - also known as cannabis day.

Snapchat issuing the following statement in response to the criticism.

“The lens we launched today was created in partnership with the Bob Marley Estate, and gives people a new way to share their appreciation for Bob Marley and his music. Millions of Snapchatters have enjoyed Bob Marley’s music, and we respect his life and achievements.”

FaceApp users have also highlighted some potential privacy issues, with people handing over their personal photos to the company which is owned by a Russian organisation called Wireless Lab. A point highlighted by Lawyer Elizabeth Potts Weinstein.

Despite this - the popularity of the app's ageing filter doesn't appear to be slowing down, with the hashtag #faceapp attracting more than 625,000 posts on Instagram, and rising.

READ MORE: FaceApp Makes You Look Old But Are You Giving Up Your Privacy?

Contact the author: tryan@networkten.com.au